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Tuesday, December 8, 2015


Drew Sharp at the Freep said Michigan State was being "fed to" Alabama and that
the Spartans were really the #4-seed but got bumped to #3 to avoid a"home game"
for the Crimson Tide in Dallas and despite the fact that Oklahoma played
schedule that "was much stronger than" the schedule of MSU.

It's that last part that irked MSUSpartan76, who compiled an
exhaustive comparison between the teams using various metrics.


It's really hard to substantiate Drew Sharp's claim that "the Sooner's strength of schedule was much stronger than the Spartans." Much easier to de-bunk it.

Oklahoma opponents in the CFP Ranks

  • #11 Texas Christian
  • #16 Oklahoma State
  • #17 Baylor
  • #23 Tennessee
  • Oklahoma has 1-in-the-top-15

MSU opponents in the CFP Ranks

  • #5 Iowa
  • #7 Ohio State
  • #14 Michigan
  • #15 Oregon
  • Michigan State has 4-in-the-top-15

Oklahoma Schedule:
  7-5 *Akron
  8-4 *Tennessee
  6-6 *Tulsa
  7-5 *West Virginia
  5-7 Texas (loss)
  6-6 *Kansas State
  7-5 *Texas Tech
  0-12 Kansas
  3-9 Iowa State
  9-3 *Baylor
10-2 *Texas Christian
10-2 *Oklahoma State
      *denotes post-season bowl game

Michigan State Schedule:
7-5 *Western Michigan
9-3 *Oregon
8-5 *Air Force
7-5 *Central Michigan
2-10 Purdue
4-8 Rutgers
9-3 *Michigan
6-6 *Indiana
5-7 *Nebraska (loss)
3-9  Maryland
11-1 *Ohio State
7-5  *Penn State
12-1 *Iowa

      *denotes post-season bowl game

  • Oklahoma OPP W-L 78-66 (.542)
  • Michigan State OPP W-L 90-68 (.570)
  • Note: MSU opponents had 12 more wins but only 2 more losses than Oklahoma.

  • Oklahoma has 9 of 12 opponents going to bowl games. 1 in the NY6 group.
  • MSU has 10 of 13 opponents going bowling, 2 in the NY6 group.

  • Oklahoma lost to 5-7 Texas by 7 on the road.
  • MSU lost to 5-7 Nebraska by 1 on the road.
  • (Note: Nebraska earned a bowl berth. Texas stays home.)

  • Oklahoma's weakest opponent was 0-12 Kansas. Oklahoma's weakest 3 opponents combined for 8-28.
  • MSU's weakest opponent was 2-10 Purdue. MSU's weakest 3 opponents combined for 9-27.

  • Oklahoma's strongest 3 opponents combined for 29-7. Texas Christian 10-2, Oklahoma St. 10-2, and Baylor 9-3 were the best wins.
  • MSU's strongest 3 opponents combined for 32-5. Iowa 12-1, Ohio St. 11-1, and Michigan 9-3 were the best wins.


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  1. And we all know the fallacious argument that is used, a self-fullfiling prophesy of sorts. The circular argument is... Since MSU won, the opponent must have been weak, otherwise MSU would not have won.

    Therefore Balyor, OK St., and TCU must be stronger opponents than Iowa, OSU, and UofM. It stands to reason, eh?

    1. 76: Thanks for all of the data, hope you think it's okay how I put it together from your comment text. If you could "create" three or four New Posts under your name and leave them blank, I can use them in the future under your byline.

      The data-set was cool, and your points were virtually unassailable! (I did think you were a tad too generous to the Wolverines in your original copy, so I backed them off to 9-3.)

      As for your observation above, EXACTLY, that's "Michigan Logic" all the way. Any team that "Sparty" beats must not be very good at all...

    2. UM 9-3... Oops!

      That ripples down further.

      MSU OPP W/L is 90-68 (0.570). 12 more wins and 2 more losses than OK.

      With Iowa left out, the top 3 MSU opponents went 29-7, same as OK. Put in Oregon at 9-3 with UM 9-3 and OSU 11-1. The top 4 would include Iowa and it becomes 41-8 and this is fair since all the top teams played by both schools had 9-3 records or better.

      One point I failed to make earlier is the MSU inflicted the only loss of the season on 2 teams, OSU and Iowa. OK has no such bragging rights.

      The other point is that we are debunking that OK had a "much stronger" schedule than MSU. Looking at this, MSU has a tougher schedule, but only marginally.

      We will next look at how MSU and OK fared versus their opponents compared to how everyone else did against them.


  2. I'm not arguing with any of the points and stats made by 76 in fact I think they are great but I do have an issue comparing the B1G Champ with the Big 12 Champ.

    Subtract the Championship game versus 11-1 Iowa and all of the statistics above are within one or two games or one touchdown of each other. Add a fictitious win in a Big 12 Championship rematch against TCU (Divisions Texas vs Non Texas teams) and the stats tighten even more.

    I agree that Sharp is wrong about a tougher schedule for Oklahoma. But who really cares. It's subjective. What I want to look at is the team that is Oklahoma. They finished with three huge wins. BUT the TCU and Baylor wins were without their starting QB's. And they had to stop a game ending 2 pt conversion to beat TCU at home. But they did end with a road win against in state rival, Oklahoma State who may have been a tad over rated to begin with.

    What is impressive with the Sooners is that their offense is awesome. They posted 50+ points in half of their games, twice reaching 60. Three more times they won with 40 or more. The only game they didn't score 30 was that debacle that we witnessed in Dallas where they lost by seven. If not for one muffed punt MSU would have lost one game by six. Once again, I'm just showing how closely matched these teams are especially with the streak of 30+ points that MSU posted.

    I look forward to breaking down the Crimson Tide in a future article as I live in the middle of SEC land. The Roll Tide signs down here make me gag almost as bad as that Go Blue logo. . . Almost.

    1. Good point, C-Mann, I noticed that as well. Beating 12-1 Iowa sure pumps up our comparative stats. If you take it away, they are certainly much closer.

      But since we DID beat Iowa, no problem including them, right? Not the fault of MSU that the Big 12 doesn't play a championship game, right? And from what I've seen of Oklahoma (not much) they are actually the #1 seed and their quarterback is the Heisman winner plus whatever QB award Cook just won. Mayfield looks incredible.

      BTW: My thought is that without the muffed punt, and no other differences, MSU would have lost by TWO points.

      In other news, last night SMU beat UM by 24 points.

    2. I am not done with this.

      Oklanhoma scored 60 or more points in 2 of their 12 games.
      63 vs. 7-5 Texas Tech. Texas Tech, not including the OK game, allowed 40.7 points per game.
      62 vs. 0-12 Kansas. Kansas, not including the OK game, allowed 44.7 points per game.
      OK had 6 games where they scored 50 or more points.
      6 of OK's opponents allowed an average of 30 or more points scored against them over the season. 2 opponents allowed 40 or more.

      MSU scored 50 or more points in 2 of 13 games.
      55 vs. 7-5 PSU. PSU allowed 18.7 ppg, not counting the MSU game.
      52 vs. 6-6 IU. Indiana allowed 35.7 ppg, not counting the MSU game.
      5 of MSU's opponents allowed an average of 30 or more points scored against them over the season.

      The point is, looking at just the offense does not paint a complete picture.

      But, back to strength of schedule.

      Aggregate of all teams played by Oklahoma's opponents:
      33.5 - 30.8
      Excluding the vs OK games:
      34.7 - 29.4

      Aggregate of all teams played by MSU's opponents:
      31.2 - 27.1
      Excluding the vs MSU games:
      32.2 - 26.6

      OK's opponents average MoV was 2.7 ppg. MSU's opponents average MoV was 4.1 ppg.
      Without the OK & MSU games, OK's opponents average MoV was 5.3 ppg versus MSU's opponents average MoV of 5.6 ppg.

      While OK scored a lot of points, and often impressively, that does not make their SOS "much stronger." The season results indicate the MSU opponents were slightly stronger in defense and the victory margins between the OK and MSU opponent seasons is nearly even.

      The debate is not whether OK is the better team or MSU, but rather that Oklahoma as stated by DS had a "much stronger" SOS and the data proves him an idiot time and again.


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